Sports might be a great way to keep your kids fit and active all year round, but getting them off the couch and away from the video games is not the only reason to sign your kids up for summer T-ball. Lately, research has uncovered another incentive for joining the basketball team or signing up for a bowling league—children who play sports perform well academically. So if you want your child to have good grades, signing them up for a sports team might be a good way to get results.
Here are a few ways that sports might improve your child’s grades.
Concentration is vital in the world of sports. If your child spaces out in the outfield, he might miss that crucial fly ball; if he lets his mind wander on the basketball court, the offender will dribble the ball right past his lowered defenses.
Likewise, concentration is vital in the classroom. Focusing on a biology lecture or participating in a literary discussion both require concentration and the ability to understand and process important information.
Participating in sports allows students to practice focusing on something they truly care about. And when it comes time for that biology lecture, they know how to focus their attention thanks to countless drills, practices, and games that have kept them on their toes.
Teach Leadership and Unity
Sports teach students important skills like leadership, team unity, hard work, and patience. Every single one of these qualities is necessary for academic excellence as well, so it’s little wonder that studies are linking sports with improved academics.
When they belong to a team, students learn how to work together to achieve success, a skill that they will need as they do group work in high school and college courses. No team ever won a ball game by refusing to work together, just as no academic achieves success without support and counsel from mentors, peers, and other experts in his field.
Sports can also raise a child’s self-esteem. When they realize that they are an important part of a team and that their actions have contributed to a successful game (whether or not they win), their self-esteem will soar. Children often have low enough self-esteem as it is, and enrolling them in a sport that they have talent for will improve their self-image.
Self-esteem is vital to the scholar as well. Believing in yourself will make that one failed grade an obstacle to be overcome, not an insurmountable barrier between him and that college scholarship. Believing that he is important on the field will make it easier to believe that he is important in his classroom too, and that he has something valuable to contribute.
Teaching your child to take his grades seriously and be responsible with his studying might be easier if they have already learned responsibility on the playing field. If your child doesn’t show up to practice, the whole team suffers. If he skips a game, he lets his peers and coach down.
Learning how to be a responsible team player will transfer to the classroom. If he doesn’t read the assignment, he will fail his study group. If he fails a test for lack of studying, he will disappoint his teacher, his parents, and himself.
In addition, studies show that drop-out rates are lower for children who participate in sports. Being part of something bigger than they are encourages them to finish school and even go on to higher education when they might not have otherwise.
Improve Overall Health
Science has proven that there is a distinct correlation between mental and physical health. The American College of Sports Medicine conducted a study that showed that middle-school students who performed the best on fitness exams also performed better than their peers academically.
Exercising improves oxygen flow to the brain, releases endorphins that improve mood and concentration, and keeps your student more physically able to ward off minor illnesses that affect study habits and focus in school.
Overall, exercise keeps the human mind just as healthy as it keeps the body.
Just like strength training for pitchers improves their ability to strike out the opposing team, being on the high school wrestling team or the community soccer league will improve your child’s ability to excel academically.
So if your child is struggling in school, don’t pull him from PE and think that it will make him better able to focus on his studies. Instead, find a physical activity he is interested in pursuing and let him join an after-school team. It might just make all the difference.